Patton was born in Los Angeles, California to Joyce (née Vanraden), a European American school teacher, and Charles Patton, an African American lawyer. She graduated from Hamilton High School, and then started college at UC Berkeley, transferring to USC Film School after her first year and graduating magna cum laude. Shortly after completing her studies, she won a three-month assignment making documentaries for PBS. Later she worked for the Discovery Health Channel as producer for the show Medical Diaries.
Her first acting role was a small part in 2005′s Hitch, which starred Will Smith and Eva Mendes. She followed that with a small part in the drama London and appeared alongside Outcast members Andre Benjamin and Big Boi in Idle wild